My mom and I spent last week in Haiti with Compassion International. It was an incredible week that completely overwhelmed me in so many ways. I want to take some time later this week to write through some of what we saw and experienced while we were there. But today I am want to talk about Mother's Day. You may have noticed that my little space on the internet was quiet on that day. I can attribute that to a couple of things. First, I was flying back to Birmingham from Florida that day and was quite engrossed in a good book. Secondly, (and maybe more importantly) I really didn't know how to feel about Mother's Day this year.
For the last several years, Mother's Day has been a really tough day for me. So much so that Adam and I decided to pretty much ignore that it was actually happening. Last year, he went over and above what any normal husband would do to take my mind far away from Mother's Day. But this year was different, and I came face to face with that difference in the Fort Lauderdale airport on Sunday morning while waiting in line at Starbucks.
The woman behind me struck up a conversation about needing her caffeine, and then we chatted about where we were going and why we had been in Florida. And then she said it.
"Happy Mother's Day if you're a mom. Are you a mom?"
I froze a little bit. Am I? When I look at Bradley's picture, I certainly feel like he is my son. I can so easily imagine him here in this house, riding with me in the car, playing with Daisy on the family room rug. I love him like he's my son. I don't think I could love him any more than I do right now. There is a document in Ethiopia that lists my last name as his.
"Yes. Yes, I am. This is actually my first Mother's Day."
She congratulated me, and then it was my turn to place my order.
It was a brief interaction, but it left me thinking for the rest of the day. I had come upon Mother's Day this year with a strange feeling of uncertainty. On the one hand, I have a son. That means I am a mom. But I have never met him, never held him, never comforted him. That makes this Mother's Day hard in a different way. To love someone so much and not be able to see him. That is a new brand of difficult.
But I tried to spend Sunday focused on hope, believing that our boy will be home soon and that this will be my very last empty-armed Mother's Day.
I love you, Bradley, and I am so, so happy that you are the one who made me a mom.